But in the meantime, here's an essay by Jonathan Lethem in the LA Times Book Review on the experience of being reviewed by James Woods. It's an interesting read - this quote kind of sums it up nicely:
I felt, despite any warnings I should have heeded, that to be reviewed at last by the most consequential and galvanizing critical voice, the most apparently gifted close reader of our time, would be a sort of graduation day, even if I’d be destined to take some licks. Taking some, I’d join a hallowed list. I mean this: I’d have taken a much worse evaluation from Wood than I got, if it had seemed precise and upstanding. I wanted to learn something about my work. Instead I learned about Wood. The letdown startled me. I hadn’t realized until Wood was off my pedestal that I’d built one. That I’d sunk stock in the myth of a great critic. Was this how Rushdie or DeLillo felt — not savaged, in fact, but harassed, by a knight only they could tell was armorless?
Lethem is a favorite of mine. I've only read two of his novels (Motherless Brooklyn and Fortress of Solitude) and a novella (This Shape We're In). In addition, his short story "Super Goat Man" is one of my all -time favorite short stories. Lethem's The Ecstasy of Influence will be released on November 8th.
Update: See our Odds and Ends post for more on the Lethem v. Woods debate
Photo by Flickr user Fred Benenson